He is faithful.

Hard to believe it’s been six years since I wrote this. How my world has changed, but that’s another story for another time.

Feb. 22, 2010
So this a.m. in the midst of checking out the news online before getting started on the multitude of writing I have to do this week, my mouse quits working … splat! nada! no mouse trails when I move it back and forth or in circles, nothing! So being the techie cretan I am, I wake my son Darin up (and I feel bad about it too!), but he groans a couple of times and emerges from his man cave to help his panicked mother, who by this time has managed to push ctrl-alt-del and has that weird screen up but can’t shut down the computer and is further panicked.

Darin sits down to undo my failed attempts at making this contraption work but this time, can’t do it … it’s stuck and won’t go anywhere, but he does manage to get the computer to shut down and disappears back into the darkness where, hopefully, his mother won’t disturb him again.

I fix myself another cup of coffee and wait patiently in front of the computer while it comes back up but, of course, with me at the helm the mouse is still dead. I manage to push ‘mail’ on my keyboard, but Outlook, not Yahoo comes up, and naturally, I am stumped.

Then I hear his door open and listen as he rummages in the junk drawer in the kitchen before returning to his mother, who is telling him that it still won’t work and she is going to have to go to Staples (in this bad weather, I’m thinking) and get another mouse … as he picks up the mouse, opens the battery compartment, inserts a new battery and brings my mouse back from the grave.

As I continue apologizing to him for not thinking of the battery, Darin pats me on the head and says “That’s okay, mom — it took me awhile for my fuzzy brain to work too” and disappears once more to the other end of the house.

So you’re probably wondering why, with all the work I have to do, that I’m taking the time to write all this down to email to you. Here’s why… there are a couple of lessons for all of us in this. The most obvious lesson is never to overlook the obvious, which means you first have to identify the obvious.

How many times do we do this? Yes, I had asked God in the midst of my panic to help me, but it seemed that He hadn’t, because I had jumped to worrying about having to drive in this weather to Staples! It took God nudging Darin with the obvious when I was too busy worrying to even think of the obvious.

The second lesson is I need to be more like Darin. He was willing to wake up from a deep sleep to try to help, and he knew he didn’t have to either. He could have stayed in bed, and I would have just waited until 9 and driven up to Staples to explain my mouse problem to some young guy, who would have wisecracked, “Did you check the battery?”

But Darin responded to my apologetic plea, because, well, that’s just in his nature. And, even when he himself was stumped and returned to his room, he was still thinking about my problem.

So, I’m going to get back to my writing, and you’re going to get on with your day, and God probably is going to personalize all this to your life, if He hasn’t already done so.

He is faithful … wow, is He faithful! And He loves us with an everlasting love! Did you hear that? An everlasting love! It will not end! We are caught up in His arms at the moment we believe and He never lets go!

We may squirm to free ourselves from His grasp to do things our way. We may even forget He has a hold on us. We may get so wrapped up in ourselves and our own troubles that we don’t hear His voice. We may even think He doesn’t care … or worse, has failed us, but, Praise His Holy Name, He holds on to us, waiting for the moment we will realize with the clarity that only He can give, that we are there, safe and secure, in His arms!

Hallelujah, He is Lord! And He’s waiting.

Looking beyond what is…

Yes, we have had a winter of snow, snow and more snow; and according to the weather guy, we’re going to have a bunch more. It’s not that I mind. I’m just glad the precip is coming down in frozen form. In my opinion, there’s nothing more depressing than dull, rainy winter days.

One thing for certain, this weather has given us a lot to talk about: the blizzard with 40 mph winds leaving huge drifts in its wake; school cancelled day after day after day; counties under states of emergency; workplaces closed; college classes canceled; snowplows taking out mailboxes; wind-driven ice missiles finding your already-frozen face; horizontal snow, vertical snow, melting snow, drifting snow, snow potholes, black ice, icicles, ice-coated windshields, and frozen car locks and doors; the scrolling banner of closings and delays every morning and night; and the endless speculation about what it’s going to do weather-wise tomorrow or next week.

I have to confess I’m getting kind of tired of hearing the phrase “I am so done with this snow.” Every time I read it or hear it, I want to very quietly respond “No, you’re not, because it. will. snow. period.” It is, after all, only February!

There is no doubt that weather like we’ve been going through brings hardships into a lot of lives. Heating bills are skyrocketing (mine tripled this month), and there seems to be no end in sight to the frigid temperatures. This is a good time to remind ourselves that while we’re complaining about snow, the UK is dealing with awful floods, and wars and persecution continue in such places as Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, India and North Korea.

This string of snowy days has held a blessing that I became aware of just today as I sat here writing. Glancing up and out, I saw fluffy flakes drifting slowly down–more slowly than I think I’ve ever seen snow fall. Hour after hour, it continued, and hour after hour I watched. And then toward evening, I looked out to see my usual view of woods and field totally concealed in a white-out so unexpected I just stood and stared.

And then it dawned on me. All of this time that I’ve been lamenting the forecasts, I’ve also been looking outside–beyond the sameness of my house, drawn to an ever-changing vista of trees that seems to be getting shorter as drifts grow taller, flocks of robins hopping from branch to branch to feast on crab apples, fluffed-out feathered friends at and under the feeders, gray snow bands on the horizon, freezing fog rolling across the orchard and pasture, blue skies and blinding sun, and snowplows rumbling by, spraying huge walls of snow with each pass.

There is something freeing about looking beyond what we know by rote to anticipate the unexpected, whether it’s gently falling snow or perhaps direction for our lives. Kudos to the simple joys that take us beyond what is to what will be yet enable us to enjoy today, no matter what.

Waiting for the Storm

The wind is calm, permitting the softly falling snow
to reach the bosom of mother earth,
thickly veiled in purest white.
Every twig, every shriveled leaf, every pine needle
becomes a perch for snowflakes,
fashioned by the very Breath of God
to fall with sweet abandon just beyond this warm room
where Peka and Boo sleep in the near silence,
broken only by ticking clock and the heater’s gentle whir.
I rejoice in the peace–and breathe a heartfelt thank you
for days that begin and end with You.
The snowplow rumbles by, indication of the coming storm
that has been in the forecast for days.
I am reminded that few of the storms of this life
come with a forecast but almost always
descend upon us with fury’s speed; and
with an unexpected blast that chills our very soul
and leaves us exposed, we are left
fighting for our very lives with no thought of anything
save survival.
I breathe in the relief that it was He who fashioned me
in the womb of a mother I have never known
only to place me in the arms of another,
who led me to the One who loves me like no other.
Because I have found my real home in Him,
there is no consternation when the blizzards of this life
threaten–or descend.
I am, instead, secure in the warmth of His love,
listening for the still, small Voice within to say,
“This is the way, walk ye in it.”